7 Wyoming Towns Are Losing Residents As Soon As Possible


The state of Wyoming is renowned for its abundance of natural beauty, sparse population, and lengthy history. Not all of its communities, nevertheless, are doing well in the contemporary day. In fact, when citizens go elsewhere in search of better possibilities, some of them experience significant deterioration and depopulation. This article will examine seven towns in Wyoming that are experiencing a rapid population decline and the factors contributing to this trend.

Lost Springs

As of the 2020 census, the town of Lost Springs in Converse County, Wyoming, is home to just four people. It used to be a busy railroad town with a post office, hotel, and shop. On the other hand, the majority of the occupants left after the railroad was abandoned. Since then, the town has been fighting for its life and has been identified as one of the tiniest communities in America by a number of media agencies.

Jeffrey City

According to the 2020 census, Jeffrey City, a town in Fremont County, Wyoming, has 58 residents. Founded in 1957 as a uranium mining town, it peaked at more than 4,000 residents in the 1970s. But the town quickly declined following the 1980s collapse of the uranium market. Numerous buildings were left empty as the majority of the businesses shut down. There are now very few people living in Jeffrey City, making it a ghost town.


As of the 2020 census, Kirby is a town in Hot Springs County, Wyoming, home to 92 people. Originally founded as a ranching hamlet in 1906, it subsequently developed into a center for the extraction of oil and gas. But the community has struggled recently with a lack of job possibilities and economic growth. A large number of the town’s younger citizens have moved away in quest of better opportunities. The Wyoming Whiskey Distillery, which opened its doors in 2009, is the town’s principal draw.

Van Tassell

As of the 2020 census, Van Tassell is a town in Niobrara County, Wyoming, home to 15 people. Named for a rancher in the area, it was established in 1915 as a railroad town. With a store, a tavern, a church, and a school, the town used to be a bustling location. But as soon as the train was shut down, the town started to deteriorate. In 1962, the school closed, and in 1974, the chapel closed. Van Tassell is a desolate, peaceful area these days with limited facilities.


According to the 2020 census, Hartville, a town in Platte County, Wyoming, has 62 residents. With its incorporation in 1884, it is the oldest town in Wyoming. Rich copper, iron, and gold reserves could be found in the mining town. Up until the 1920s, when the mines began to run out of ore, the town was thriving. Over the years, the town’s population gradually decreased as many of its citizens migrated elsewhere. Today, the town’s historic structures, like the Sunrise Mine and Hartville Museum, serve as tourist destinations.


As of the 2020 census, Riverside is a town in Carbon County, Wyoming, home to 52 people. It was a well-liked fishing and hunting location for Native Americans and early settlers, and it is situated close to the meeting point of the Encampment and North Platte rivers. Established in 1902, the town expanded as a hub for ranching and logging. The town’s economy did, however, suffer during the 20th century due to difficulties and rivalry in the agriculture and forestry sectors. Since then, the town’s population has been declining, and a large number of its structures are abandoned or in poor condition.


As of the 2020 census, Yoder is a town in Goshen County, Wyoming, home to 169 people. It was named after a local settler and founded as a farming hamlet around 1900. The town had a newspaper, a bank, a hotel, and a school when it was a thriving community. But in the 1930s, a string of droughts, dust storms, and grasshopper infestations decimated the town’s livestock and crops, drastically altering its fortunes. The Great Depression never fully healed the community, and many of its citizens moved elsewhere. The Yoder Rodeo, which takes place in July, has become the town’s primary source of revenue.

Statistical Data

Town County Year Founded Historical Significance Economic Base Current Challenges Population
Lost Springs Converse County Late 1800s Former Railroad Hub Struggling to Survive After Railroad Abandonment Significant depopulation; Identified as one of the smallest communities in America 4
Jeffrey City Fremont County 1957 Uranium Mining Town Decline post-1980s uranium market collapse Ghost town with numerous vacant buildings 58
Kirby Hot Springs County 1906 Ranching and Oil/Gas Economic struggles, lack of job opportunities Younger population migrating for better opportunities 92
Van Tassell Niobrara County 1915 Former Railroad Town Deterioration post-railroad shutdown Desolate with limited facilities 15
Hartville Platte County 1884 Oldest Wyoming Town Thrived until 1920s mining decline Gradual population decrease; Historic structures as tourist attractions 62
Riverside Carbon County 1902 Ranching and Logging Economic decline in agriculture and forestry Population decline; Many structures abandoned or in poor condition 52
Yoder Goshen County 1900 Farming Hamlet Great Depression and environmental challenges Rodeo as primary source of revenue; Population decline 16

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These seven towns in Wyoming serve as illustrations of how shifting social and economic landscapes can impact the destiny of small towns. In addition, they serve as a reminder of the state’s prospects and difficulties for the present and future, as well as its history and culture. Some of these towns might go in the near future, while others might figure out new strategies for thriving. In either case, they constitute a feature of Wyoming’s distinctive and varied terrain.

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